African landscapes: interdisciplinary approaches by Olaf Bubenzer (auth.), Olaf Bubenzer, Michael Bollig (eds.)

By Olaf Bubenzer (auth.), Olaf Bubenzer, Michael Bollig (eds.)

Landscape reports offer an important standpoint into the interplay among people and their setting, laying off perception on social, cultural, and fiscal themes. The examine explores either the way in which that average approaches have affected the advance of tradition and society, in addition to the ways in which common landscapes themselves are the manufactured from old and cultural strategies.

Most earlier reviews of the panorama selectively enthusiastic about both the ordinary sciences or the social sciences, however the learn offered in African Landscapes bridges that hole. This paintings is exclusive in its interdisciplinary scope. over the last twelve years, the individuals to this quantity have participated within the collaborative examine middle ACACIA (Arid weather variation and Cultural Innovation in Africa), which bargains with the connection among cultural procedures and ecological dynamics in Africa’s arid areas.

The case experiences offered the following come from quite often Sahara/Sahel and southwestern Africa, and are all associated with broader discussions at the notion of panorama, and subject matters of cultural, anthropological, geographical, botanical, sociological, and archaeological curiosity. The contributions during this paintings are stronger by way of complete colour images that placed the dialogue in context visually.

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Simon Schama’s book, Landscape and Memory, is perhaps a good example as Schama states that: ‘Landscapes are culture before they are nature; constructs of the imagination projected onto wood and water and rock’ (Schama, 1995, p. 61). The book then mainly deals with cultural imaginations and political history and has only little to say on natural processes. Escobar (1999, p. 2) criticises that postmodernists and poststructuralists ‘have to hastily come to think that since there is no nature outside of history, there is nothing natural about nature’.

By giving proof of the ‘scientific’ nature of their enterprise they exercised power in a pure and subtle form – as the power to name, to describe, to classify. Especially colonial photography has been interpreted in this direction in earlier publications. In a fine-grained interpretation of landscape photography, Patricia Hayes shows the interpenetration of cognition and colonial ideology: wide open spaces and a subtle play between foreground and background are emblematic icons of colonial discourses and indirect rule (Hayes, 2000).

It was especially social geography which completely rejected the landscape concept and opted for problem-oriented research. , 1999; see also Bubenzer this volume). In ecology the landscape concept became a standard tool to define the spatial circumferences of a research area. Ecologists nowadays use two ways to represent landscapes: landcover types are depicted in polygons or as raster lattices representing the landscape as a grid. , habitat patches) connected to some degree by linkages that join nodes functionally (see Figure 6).

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